After ten years with the cast of Grey’s Anatomy, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the characters we’ve grown to know and love. But while the roles were still being cast, Patrick Dempsey wasn’t always shoo-in to take on the role of hunky neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd — in fact, Rob Lowe was the casting directors’ first choice.
So why didn’t Rob decide to become McDreamy? He was already locked into the short-lived CBS drama series, Dr. Vegas, when the role was offered to him.
“After a week of negotiating, my deal was done, although not yet signed. It was then that I got an urgent call from the producers of a potential new show for ABC called Grey’s Anatomy,” Rob writes in his new memoir, Love Life. “I agreed to meet with the people making Grey’s Anatomy. I had read it and loved it — the writing was crisp, real, and very entertaining — and it’s always been a good idea to hear out talented people.”
And while we know that Patrick ended up being the right Derek for the show, at the time, producers were convinced that Rob had to do it.
“‘We would be thrilled if you would play Dr. Derek Shepherd,’ they said right off the bat,’ Rob continues. “I was torn. Grey’s was a much better script; in fact, there was no comparison.” Well, duh. So why’d Rob say no?
“Year after year after year, all of ABC’s new dramas flopped. CBS was on a hot streak that continues to this day,” Rob explains. “Although Grey’s was a much better script, I chose Dr. Vegas. The odds were just too stacked.”
But as it turns out, Rob took the wrong gamble. Dr. Vegas was canceled after 5 episodes, while Grey’s has spanned a decade — with the next two seasons already being put into place. Bummer, Rob!
Are you glad Rob didn’t get the part, or would he make a better Derek?
Source: E! Online